The unfolding COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected the meetings industry with events being postponed, relocated or cancelled. Since February 2020, ICCA and CIMERT have embarked on a joint research project to bring their connected expertise together to monitor the status of meetings in the ICCA Association Database. This is part of ICCA's wider initiative to work with CIMERT (Center of International Meetings Research and Training, Supported by ICCA) to track meetings which have been affected by the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease now called COVID-19.
Located at the School of Tourism and Cultural Industry, Chengdu University, CIMERT was a joint initiative set up in December 2019 by ICCA, Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (CCPIT Chengdu), MeetingsChina magazine and Chengdu University to play a central role in undertaking comprehensive research projects globally.
CIMERT has set up a task force group consisting of 15 university students and 3 lecturers, under the helm of Professor Zhu Dan, Dean of the School of Tourism and Cultural Industry. With the supervision of ICCA’s Research Department, the Chengdu-based team has assisted in a thorough mapping of worldwide events. As of March 2020, out of 4,632 meetings scheduled for the year 2020, ICCA and CIMERT have found a total of 393 international association meetings which have been identified for postponements, cancellations and relocation due to COVID-19, which is 8.5% of the total events. The data snapshot was taken on 18 February and the record data was accomplished in March 2020.
As schools and universities had already closed since Lunar New Year holiday due to the lockdown, CIMERT’s team switched to working from home and met virtually daily to discuss project progress, which is the first joint project undertaken by CIMERT in collaboration with ICCA.
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